Unstash the cash! Corporate governance reform in Japan

Chie Aoyagi, Giovanni Ganelli, 19 August 2014

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Cash holdings by Japanese companies are very high compared to other G7 countries. As it can be seen in Figure 1, the average ratio of cash and cash equivalent holdings to market capitalisation of Japanese listed companies during 2004-2012 was above 40%, compared to values in the 15-27% range in other G7 countries.

Topics: Industrial organisation, Microeconomic regulation
Tags: cash holdings, corporate governance, Japan

Secular stagnation: Facts, causes, and cures – a new Vox eBook

Coen Teulings, Richard Baldwin, 15 August 2014

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Economic growth is still anaemic despite years of zero interest rates.

Topics: Global crisis, Macroeconomic policy, Monetary policy
Tags: Europe, Great Recession, interest rates, investment, Japan, macroeconomics, savings, SecStag debate, secular stagnation, US, zero lower bound

Natural disasters, firm activity, and damage to banks

Kaoru Hosono, Daisuke Miyakawa, 13 August 2014

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Direct and indirect impacts of natural disasters

Natural disasters affect firm activities in a variety of ways. They disrupt business operations directly through the loss of lives and the destruction of buildings and equipment, and indirectly through the impact on firms’ transaction partners such as their customers, suppliers, and providers of finance.

Topics: Environment, Global economy, Industrial organisation
Tags: bank lending, earthquakes, firm activity, Japan, natural disaster

Identifying and quantifying monetary policy transmission through bank balance sheets

Kaoru Hosono, Daisuke Miyakawa, 9 August 2014

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How does monetary policy affect firm activities? While there is long-standing literature on this issue, the transmission mechanism of monetary policy is currently attracting renewed attention.

Topics: Financial markets, Global crisis, Monetary policy
Tags: balance sheets, bank lending channel, credit easing, financial accelerator, global crisis, Japan, monetary policy, quantitative easing, unconventional monetary policy

Protection of intellectual property to foster innovations in the service sector

Masayuki Morikawa, 20 July 2014

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Given the declining labour force due to population ageing, accelerating the productivity growth of industries – especially the service industries – is an important element of the growth strategy in Japan and most advanced countries. While there are a variety of factors affecting productivity, innovation is one of the key determinants of productivity growth.

Topics: Productivity and Innovation
Tags: growth, innovation, intellectual property, Japan, patents, productivity, R&D, services, trade secrets

Gender diversity in management in Japan is finally emerging: Comparison with China and South Korea

Hiromi Ishizuka, 10 July 2014

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Japan was ranked 104th out of 136 countries on the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Gender Gap sub-index on economic participation and opportunity in 2013. This means that Japan has the second largest labour market gender gap among the advanced economies, next only to South Korea. Meanwhile, Japan’s population peaked in 2008 and has been on the decline since.

Topics: Gender, Labour markets
Tags: Gender diversity, Japan, Management

Are large headquarters unproductive?

Masayuki Morikawa, 19 June 2014

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The role of headquarters

Headquarters – the core service sector inside companies – conduct a wide range of highly strategic activities, including:

Topics: Productivity and Innovation
Tags: centralisation, headquarters, ICT, Japan, Management, productivity, technology

Disagreement about inflation expectations: The case of Japanese households

Shusaku Nishiguchi, Jouchi Nakajima, Kei Imakubo, 2 May 2014

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It is well known that inflation expectations vary across agents. Nevertheless, this fact has attracted little attention. Analysis of inflation expectations typically tend to focus on measures such as the mean and the median of such expectations. One of the distinguished exceptions is Mankiw et al.

Topics: Monetary policy
Tags: inflation, inflation expectations, Japan

Clarifying the debate about deflation concerns

Mickey Levy, 21 February 2014

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A common theme among many economic policymakers, financial market participants, and the media is that rich industrialised nations face a high risk of deflation, and that deflation always harms economic performance and so must be combatted with aggressive macroeconomic stimulus. Such broad assessments are misleading, and under certain circumstances may lead to misguided policies.

Topics: Global crisis, Monetary policy
Tags: deflation, disinflation, Europe, eurozone, Japan, quantitative easing, US

More time spent on television and video games, less time spent on studying?

Tomohiko Inui, Ryoji Matsuoka, Makiko Nakamuro, 16 January 2014

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Many parents believe that TV and video games are ‘idiot boxes’ that rot their children’s minds and crowd out study time. We agree with this general perception, but add the caveat that less time spent on TV or video games does not automatically lead to more time spent on studying. It is easy to detect the correlation but harder to determine causality.

Topics: Education
Tags: education, Japan, TV, videogames

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